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China warns US over trade ties with Taiwan after agreement reached

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai

China has warned the United States over “economic and trade relations with Taiwan," after Washington reached an agreement with Taipei to boost trade ties despite Bejiing's strong objections.  

The United States and Taiwan reached an agreement last week on the first stage of a bilateral trade initiative, titled the US-Taiwan Initiative of 21st Century Trade, less than a year after negotiations began.

It will be the first official trade agreement between Taipei and Washington since US President Joe Biden assumed office in 2021.

The pact is not expected to alter goods tariffs, but proponents say it will strengthen economic bonds between the US and Taiwan. It will also open the self-ruled island to more US exports.

“This accomplishment represents an important step forward in strengthening the US-Taiwan economic relationship,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement on Friday. 

“It demonstrates how we can work together and advance mutual trade priorities on behalf of our people. We look forward to continuing these negotiations and finalizing a robust and high-standard trade agreement that tackles pressing 21st-century economic challenges,” she added.

In a reaction to the announcement, China's Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday called on Washington to "carefully handle economic and trade relations with Taiwan.”

China views the island as an inseparable part of the mainland, repeatedly warming Washington against unwise provocations in this regard.

It has repeatedly opposed Taiwan’s contacts with the US, warning that the Taiwan issue is “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.” 

The United States does not recognize Taiwan as a country and officially supports the "One China" policy but regularly oversteps its own principles.

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